Air pollution much more dangerous than climate change for global agriculture

Scientists have long known that climate change has a major negative impact on global agriculture, potentially even threatening global food security. But a new research shows that air pollution is actually much more threatening. Anthropogenic climate change caused 3.5% decrease in potential wheat yield on a country level in India; air pollution caused more than 32% decrease in potential yield. Ozone

Texas chief toxicologist: No need for smog regulations, just stay indoor

Dr. Michael Honeycutt, the top toxicologist in the state of Texas argued that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shouldn’t tighten smog rules because there would be little to no health benefit. “Ozone is an outdoor air pollutant because systems such as air conditioning remove it from indoor air,” he argues on a blog post on the TCEQ website. “Since most

Natural gas is not a clean energy bridge, further studies find

A trio of newly published studies showed once again that natural gas is not a clean energy bridge – the studies highlighting the various problems associated with natural gas. Firstly, it was shown that emissions databases underestimate the methane released from fossil-fuel extraction in the U.S. Southwest. “A global gas boom is not a replacement for energy and climate policies,” write

Sweden recycles 99 percent of its garbage. Here’s how they do it

Recycling is still a field where we have much work to do; while you hear talks about it everywhere, it’s still not done at a satisfying scale in most parts of the world. But Sweden is not part of that group. Virtually all of Swedish garbage is recycled; as a matter of fact, they are so good at making garbage

Beijing marathoners wear masks due to massive air pollution

Thousands of runners signed up for the Beijing marathon, hoping to better themselves in the 42 km race. But the 34th Beijing International Marathon which took place on Sunday was not a fit place for a record, as air 
pollution soared to 16 times the maximum recommended level. The air in Beijing is among the most polluted urban areas in the world. The

NASA confirms there’s a huge cloud of methane over southwest US

A cloud of methane gas about the size of Delaware was detected over the Four Corners area of the American southwest years ago. But people didn’t take it seriously, because (believe it or not) – it was so big that they thought it was an instrument error. “We didn’t focus on it because we weren’t sure if it was a true

Ocean Abyss hasn’t Warmed – Where’s All The Heat?

The ocean abyss hasn’t warmed significantly since 2005, according to a new NASA study, further deepening the mystery of why global warming has apparently ground to halt in the past couple of years. The researchers stress, however, that the findings do not indicate that there isn’t any man-made climate change; sea levels are still rising, it’s just the fine details that

For the first time, China surpasses the EU in per capita CO2 emissions

Despite significant steps towards a more sustainable future, China is still the world’s most polluting country – and it’s not only their sheer population that’s the cause. A new study conducted by two British researchers revealed that China emits more CO2 per capita than Europe. They also estimate that we have already released two thirds of the fossil-fuel emissions allowable under

Public transportation holds key for cleaner city, fights against climate change

It may seem clear, but you need a study to have certainty: public transportation is cheap and “green”. A recent research concluded that effective public transit systems can provide a cost-effective solution to fighting global change at a global level. If public transits are improved throughout the entire world, the report shows that urban transportation could be cut by more than half by

Greenland’s ice is no longer white – and that’s bad news for climate change

Everyone knows that Greenland isn’t exactly green – it’s covered in snow, so it should be white. Except… it’s not white anymore. Jason Box, a member of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, has been studying the snow in Greenland over the summer and his observations are seriously disturbing. According to him, the snow is darker than ever, and this

BP caught using ‘college’ tricks to cheat page count in court document

The BP trial just keeps getting more and more interesting. After being fined $17.8 billion the giant oil company keeps trying to do funny stuff – even in court. A judge reprimanded BP for using tactics that would “not be appropriate for a college term paper”, after they tried to sneak in an extra 6 pages into a document by manipulating line spacings.

World deforestation surprisingly results in net cooling effect

In the 1950s rainforests  covered 14% of the earth’s land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years. It’s believed that deforestation accounts for about 20% of global emissions of CO2, because of the a reduced carbon storage capacity. Yet there may be a hidden side

US drinking water contaminated with gas because of faulty wells, but not fracking

Stanford researchers traced back methane leaks from contaminated drinking water in Pennsylvania and Texas to shale gas wells. However, they note that they did not find a link between the contamination and the technique used to drill for shale gas itself, called hydraulic fracturing or more commonly known as fracking. Instead, the researchers concluded that well integrity is the main

China sees big drop in carbon emissions: “There is no turning back in China’s commitment to a sound eco-system”

This year has been full of encouraging news from China – apparently, they’re committed to their war on pollution, and not only has their coal consumption decreased, but coal consumption has also decoupled from economic growth – that is, their economy is growing even as they use less coal. Now, China’s carbon emissions saw the largest drop in years –

Ground ozone pollution in India destroys enough crops to feed 94 million

Like most developing nations, India is burning a lot of coal to catch ground. As always the case with compromises such as these, economic growth comes at the expense of the environment. Pollution in Delhi, the capital, has reached levels comparable to Beijing, which is when you know you’ve hit a new low. A new study found high concentrations of surface

Coal plant receives EPA approval to inject carbon emissions underground

The  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued the first ever permit that will allow a coal plant to store some of its carbon emissions underground, as a means of mitigating global warming. The idea has been around since George W. Bush, but time and time again its been scrapped largely for economic considerations. Ten years later, FutureGen Industrial Alliance Inc. has now

High level of arsenic contamination found in groundwater near fracking sites

Researchers at University of Texas at Arlington conducted tests on more than 100 water wells in Texas and found 30% of these contained ‘alarming’ amounts of arsenic, enough to be considered carcinogenic and seriously threatening human health. These contaminated wells were found in the vicinity of known fracking sites and prior to drilling these were found to be free of arsenic

Ozone-depleting chemicals still spewed in atmosphere despite international ban

NASA reports significant quantities of ozone-depleting chemicals are still leaching into the atmosphere despite an international ban signed by all the world’s governments thirty years ago.

People in Beijing can pay for public transportation in recycling

People from Beijing can now use one of the city’s 34 newly installed facilities which allows them to pay for public transportation or charge their phone credit with empty plastic bottles. China is the world’s biggest polluter, and will likely stay so for years and years to come. The growth of their economy has been fueled by coal consumption, which

Whales and sharks sightings increase around NY waters, in response to cleaner waters

After cleaning the Hudson River, which spills into New York harbor, marine biologists report increased sightings of whales and sharks around the Big Apple’s waters. The cleaner waters now harbor more fish and nutrients, which in turn has led to a surge in numbers. Dolphins and seals are also on the rise. The Hudson River used to be filled with pollution